March 19, 2011
DENVER, Colo. - Richmond will look for its second Sweet 16 Appearance when it plays Morehead State in the NCAA Tournament Third Round on Saturday at the Pepsi Center at 5:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. MT.
The Spiders (28-7) have won eight-straight, including Thursday's 69-66 win over No. 25 ranked Vanderbilt. Morehead State (25-9) defeated fourth-seeded Louisville on Thursday. This is the first meeting between the two schools.
The Spiders improved their NCAA Tournament record to 7-8 with a victory over No. 25 ranked Vanderbilt on Thursday in the NCAA Second Round. Richmond improved to 7-2 in its last 9 games against ranked teams and 8-4 in the last 12. The Spiders are 9-3 in the last 12 against teams from BCS conferences, including 5-1 this season. Kevin Anderson scored 25 points, including the game-winning floater with 18.7 seconds left. Anderson is averaging 26.2 points per game in Richmond's last 5 wins against ranked teams.
The Spiders have won 8 straight, 12 of the last 13 and 15 of the last 17 and are 17-3 in the last 20. Richmond had an 8-game winning streak last season, but has not had a 9-game winning streak since the 1990-91 season.
Richmond is making its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and the 9th in school history, all coming in the last 27 years. This is the Spiders 2nd time making back-to-back NCAA appearances (1990-91). This is Richmond's 4th-straight postseason appearance and 18th overall. The Spiders are the only team in NCAA Tournament history to win as a No. 12, 13, 14 and 15 seeds and have the most wins as a No. 12 seed and lower (7) in NCAA Tournament history. Richmond has made 1 Sweet 16 in 1988, defeating Indiana in the First Round and Georgia Tech in the Second Round (see page 8).
Richmond won its 1st Atlantic 10 Championship in 10 years in the league Sunday with a 67-54 win over Dayton. Richmond defeated No. 24 ranked Temple in the semifinals. Kevin Anderson was the MVP of the Atlantic 10 Tournament after averaging 22.0 ppg and Harper was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 16.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg.
Richmond is 16-4 away from home this season, including 6-1 on neutral courts. The Spiders are 3-0 on neutral courts against nationally-ranked teams this season with wins over No. 8 Purdue, No. 24 Temple and No. 25 Vanderbilt.
Richmond's Justin Harper and Kevin Anderson earned 1st-Team All-Atlantic 10 honors, the 1st A-10 teammates to do so since 2006-07. This was Anderson's 2nd-straight season on the All A-10 1st-Team and his 3rd-straight season earning All-Conference honors. Senior catalyst Kevin Smith was named to the A-10 All-Defensive Team.
The Spiders have the most wins over the last 2 seasons (54) and 3 seasons (74) as in any other 2 or 3 year spans in 99 seasons of Richmond basketball -- The Spiders need 1 win to tie the 1991 senior class for most wins in a 4-year period. Richmond has won a school record 28 games, passing the previous mark of 26 from last season and 1988.
2010 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American Kevin Anderson ranks in the top-5 on UR's all-time career list in 5 categories. He is 3rd in scoring (2,138 points), needing just 7 points to tie Mike Perry for 2nd (2,145). KA is 4th in assists (403), 3rd in steals (215), 3rd in FGs made (756) and 1st in minutes, averaging 36.2 per game. He is also 6th on the school's list in 3s (175), 1 behind teammate Justin Harper (176).
Dan Geriot needs 1 assist to give the Spiders three players with 100 assists on the season...the Spiders have 3 1,000-point scorers at the same time for just the 5th time, including the 2nd-straight season...KA (3rd/2,138), Harper (14th/1,416) and Dan Geriot (17th/1,373) are in the top-20...Richmond leads the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage (.463) and three-point field goal percentage (.403), which ranks 10th in the nation...the Spiders lead the A-10 and are 12th in the nation in turnovers per game (10.5) and are 10th in the nation in A/TO ratio (1.4)... Richmond leads the A-10 and is 23rd in the nation in scoring defense (61.1)...Richmond leads the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage defense (.404and three-point field goal percentage (30.5), which ranks 8th in the nation...Richmond is 14-2 in tournament play over the last 2 seasons...the Spiders have won 8-straight since spending a practice playing touch football on Feb. 18...the Spiders are 6-1 in neutral court games this year and 10-3 in neutral court games over the last 2 years...the Spiders have held 6 of their last 7opponents under 60 points and 9 of the last 13 opponents to 60 points or less...the Spiders were 12-2 in February over the past two seasons...22 of Richmond's 28 victories are by double-figures...all but 3 of Richmond's wins are by at least 8 points...the Spiders are 28-6 in their last 33 Atlantic 10 regular season games...Richmond is 61-19 (.763) in last 80 games dating back to Feb. 18, 2009...the Spiders have made at least 5 threes in every game this season except one...Richmond was 12-3 at home this season and 26-4 at home in the last 2 seasons...Darrius Garrett's dunk at Dayton was a Top-10 Play on ESPN's SportsCenter, peaking at No. 3...Jay Bilas named Justin Harper his Game Changer during Jan. 22nd's episode of ESPN's College Gameday...Kevin Anderson has started 129 career games, the longest active streak in the nation.
Giant Killers To Giants
Richmond earned a reputation for being Giant Killers with its NCAA Tournament victories in the 1980s and 90s, but the Spiders' victories over so-called Giants have become the norm. Richmond has won 5 of 6 games against BCS conference teams this season, the most in school history. The Spiders have won 9 of the last 12 games against teams from a BCS conference and Chris Mooney has 14 wins over BCS conference teams in 7 years as a D-I head coach, including 12 in 6 seasons at Richmond. The Spiders have defeated a team from all 6 BCS conferences (Pac-10, Big 10, ACC, Big East, Big 12 SEC) in Mooney's tenure, including multiple wins against the ACC (2), Big East (2) and SEC (3). Richmond broke into the Top-25 on Feb. 15, 2010 for the first time in 24 years. The Spiders finished the 2009-10 season ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll last year and just 5 spots out of the top-25 this season.
Richmond is 7-2 in the last 9 games against ranked teams, including 3-1 this season. Kevin Anderson, who this season had 28 points in the win over No. 8 Purdue, 25 in the NCAA Tournament win over No. 25 Vanderbilt and 22 in the A-10 semifinal win over No. 24 Temple, is averaging 24.8 ppg in the last 5 wins against ranked teams. Richmond has won 8 of its last 12 games against ranked teams since 2008.
Richmond had a 10-3 road record, tying the 1952-53 and 1985-86 teams for the second most road wins in a season in school history, one win behind the 1934-35 team (11-0) and in the top-10 in the nation in road wins this season. The Spiders went 7-1 on the road in A-10 play, clinching the best A-10 road record for the 3rd-straight year. Richmond has the best A-10 road record since 2008-09 at 18-6, with a 16-3 record in the last 19 A-10 road games. Richmond is 16-4 away from the Robins Center this season.
4-Year Run Atop The A-10
Chris Mooney has been the head coach at Richmond for six years and after a quick rebuilding job Mooney has had the Spiders in the top-3 in the league in wins over the last 4 years (2007-08 through 2010-11). Xavier has 55 wins, Temple has 50, Richmond has 44, Rhode Island has 36 and Dayton has 34. Richmond, Temple and Xavier are the only 3 A-10 teams to finish in the top-5 in the standings the last 4 seasons (2008-11).
KA For Naismith, Wooden, Cousy, Lowe's
Richmond senior point guard Kevin Anderson was named to the Naismith Trophy Men's Collegiate Player of the Year Preseason List, the Wooden Award Preseason Top-50 List, is one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award for the nation's best point guard and was one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be selected as a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, the student-athlete must have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. Off the court the 2010 A-10 Player of the Year is a Business major with a concentration in Marketing in Richmond's undergraduate Business School which ranked No. 12 in the nation last year, including No. 1 for academic quality according to Business Week. He is also heavily involved in the community with his teammates, including being involved with CARITAS, The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, The Special Olympics, The Arthritas Foundation and St. Joseph's Villa. Anderson was named 1st-Team All-Atlantic 10 for the 2nd-straight year, after earning 2nd-Team All-Atlantic 10 as a sophomore. He was MVP of the 2011 A-10 Tournament.
Harp On It
Justin Harper has been called one of the A-10's top-NBA prospects for the past 2 seasons, and an NBA scout told the Spider coaching staff in the fall that he could be a first round pick. Now it appears a lot of experts and scouts think Harper will go in the first round in this June's NBA Draft. The First-Team All-Atlantic 10 selection is leading the Spiders in scoring (17.7) and rebounding (6.9) and averaged 20.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg in Atlantic 10 play. He opened conference play with four-straight 25-point games and kept putting up impressive numbers with his array of post moves, turnaround jumpers and smooth three-point stroke for a 6-foot-10 forward. He has scored in double-figures in 41 of his last 45 games and has 12 20-point games in the last 23 contests. He had a career-high 30 points and 10 rebounds vs. GW on Jan. 20 and a much more dominate than the stat line shows 14-point, 8-rebound performance against Purdue All-American JaJuan Johnson. Harper was named the Game Changer to watch by Jay Bilas on ESPN's College Gameday Jan. 22, was on SI.com's list of top-15 seniors on the NBA Draft Board and was on NBCsports.com's list of 12 Most Underrated Players in college basketball. Harper is 35th in the nation in shooting percentage (53.7%) and is leading the A-10 in three-point percentage (46.0%).
Darrius Garret, who blocked 5 shots in the win over Vanderibilt on Thursday has 58 blocks this season, which ranks 6th on Richmond's single-season list, 2 blocks behind his own mark of 60 last season. Garrett blocked an A-10 and school record 14 last season against UMass, the second most shots blocked in college basketball history. Garrett currently has the 2nd-highest blocks per game average (1.46) in school history, behind Tim Faulconer (1.58). Harper is 10th on UR's single-season list with 45 blocks this season. Garrett is 7th on the career list and Harper is 8th.
Passing His Way Up The Charts
Kevin Anderson is 4th on Richmond's career list for assists (403).
Bulking Up and Bouncing Higher
Thanks to strength & conditioning coach Jay DeMayo, the Spiders have four players who can bench 300 pounds led by Justin Harper (330) and Derrick Williams (330). Darrius Garrett put up 305 pounds and Darien Brothers hit 300. Six players can jump 40 inches in the two-step vertical led by Brothers, Kevin Anderson and Cedrick Lindsay at 42 inches. Kevin Smith and Garrett got 41 1/2 inches and Francis-Cedrick Martel, who had Bill Raftery and Verne Lundquist jumping out of their seats with his sky-high rebound in the Atlantic 10 title game, jumped 40 inches.
In Chris Mooney's first season at Richmond in 2005-06, the Spiders led the nation in fewest points allowed for most of the season. The Spiders finished the year allowing 57.8 points per game, which ranked seventh in the country. Richmond has not allowed over 68.2 points per game in a season during Mooney's tenure, including holding teams to 62.7 ppg last season and 61.1 points per game so far this season. The Spiders have held opponents to 50 points or less 24 times in 197 games under Mooney, including 4 times this season, and have held teams to 60 points or less 89 times, including 17 times in each of the last two seasons. The Spiders have held their last 6 opponents under 60 points and 9 of the last 13 opponents to 60 points or less. Richmond has allowed over 70 points in regulation just 43 times in Mooney's 6 seasons and has allowed 80 or more points in regulation just 14 times. Richmond has held 8 teams to under 35-percent shooting this season, including then No. 8 ranked Purdue to 30.2 percent shooting and 14 first-half points on Nov. 27. The Spiders are holding opponents to 40.4 percent shooting, including 30.5 percent from behind the arc.
The Spiders have three players with wingspans over 7-feet, and two more with wingspans over 6-foot-10. Darrius Garrett has a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Derrick Williams is 6-foot-6 but has a 7-foot-1 wingspan and Justin Harper has a 7-foot wingspan. Francis-Cedric Martel is 6-foot-6 but has a 6-foot-11 wingspan and Greg Robbins is 6-foot-5 but has a 6-foot-10 wingspan.
A New Spider
The Spiders adopted a 14-year-old brain tumor survivor as part of the team through the Friends of Jacyln Foundation last season. Nathan Mwenda, who is originally from Zambia, has been living in Richmond for 6 years. He attends games and practices and exchanges text messages with the players.
The Champs Are Here
The Spiders have now won three tournaments in the last two seasons and Kevin Anderson has been named the MVP of all three tournaments. Richmond won won the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament, the 2010 Chicago Invitational Challenge in November, defeating No. 8 Purdue in the title game, and the 2009 South Padre Island Invitational, defeating defending SEC Champion Mississippi State in the semifinals and defending Big 12 Champion Missouri in the title game. The Spiders are 8-0 in regular-season tournament play over the past 2 seasons and 14-2 in tournament play counting the NCAA game last March. Richmond also defeated No. 13 ranked Florida in last year's Orange Bowl Classic and led by 30 in a win over VCU in this year's Farm Bureau Insurance Black & Blue Classic.
The Wedding Planner
Richmond head coach Chris Mooney started his collegiate coaching career as a part time head coach at Beaver College (now Arcadia College) in 1997. Mooney's full time job was as the school's coordinator of events and as part of that job he had to book weddings at a castle that was on the Glenside, Pa. campus. He showed the castle to newly engaged couples and helped them to decide where the band should play and how tables should be arranged. "I was 25 years old and I'd never even had people over to dinner," Mooney says. "And here I am helping brides prepare for weddings." With no team managers, Mooney washed the uniforms, swept the court and filled water coolers. The team had just six players on the roster during most of Mooney's first season, so when the captains met with the referees before games, the other players had to stop warm-ups and wait. Richmond associate head coach Kevin McGeehan was Mooney's part-time assistant at Beaver College and his full-time job was stuffing envelopes in a cramped office in the basement of the castle.
The Young And The Restless
Richmond coach Chris Mooney got his first Division I head coaching job at the age of 32, which made him the fourth-youngest coach in the nation at the time. Even with his youth, don't look for any grizzled veterans on the 38-year-old Mooney's staff. Associate head coach Kevin McGeehan is 37, assistant Jamal Brunt is 30 and coach Rob Jones is 32. Directors of basketball operations Marcus Jenkins and Peter Thomas are 28 and 26, respectively.